Coronavirus (COVID19): Most Common Cybersecurity Threats
As COVID-19 Fear Is Growing, So As the Coronavirus-Themed Scams
Examples of Commonly Seen Malicious Messages
- GOV.UK themed fake text message titled as ‘You are eligible to get a tax refund (rebate) of 128.34 GBP’.
- Advertisement regarding hand sanitizers and masks via malicious websites.
- Fake Social Media and Email Messages impersonating medical expert bodies like NHS, CDC (Centre for Disease and Control) and WHO (World Health Organization), asking for a donation to research regarding Coronavirus.
No doubt, it’s a time for everyone to come together and help one another, but it’s a harsh truth that these scammers who are an ordinary human being like you and me are busy in causing trouble.
However, to help you keep safe online and avoid such incidents, below is the list of some commonly seen COVID-19 scams and tips to help you that everyone should watch out for.
Different Types of Coronavirus Related Cybersecurity Scam
1. Phishing Mails
- Verifying the sender’s email address with the original one.
- Check if there are any spelling mistakes.
- Instead of clicking the link given in an email, visit the website directly. For example, visiting the WHO website, rather than clicking the given link.
- Avoiding the transfer of money that asks for a donation, and if you wish to donate or help, you can even look for charity websites or health organizations directly.
2. Malicious and Fake Websites
To avoid such scenarios, some of the things you can do are like:
- Verify whether the website has a secure connection. You’ll get to know if the URL starts with the HTTPS (SSL/TLS Certificate).
- Check whether the installed SSL/TLS Certificate is provided by the branded certificate authorities like Comodo or Sectigo, which can be checked by clicking on the padlock, seen at the top address bar, because usage of free SSL/TLS certificate for fake websites are on the rise these days.
- Check whether the website is poorly designed and also look for spelling errors.
- Check whether the website is selling in-demand products at a low price, then it’s highly possible it’s a scam.
3. App Scams: Fake Coronavirus Maps
4. Social Media Scams
5. Seller & Buyer Scams on Shopping Portals
In this pandemic era, selling of fake masks, remedies to treat Coronavirus is on the rise. According to Forbes, Amazon found and removed 1M+ sellers with their fake products and claims regarding this novel COVID-19. So, it’s self-explanatory, be cautious, and don’t trust anyone blindly in this digital world.
Here’s How to Protect From COVID-19 Cyber Threats
- If you receive an email from an unsolicited source, it’s best to verify the email address of the sender and verify whether the contact name matches the email address through which you’ve got the email. Also, avoid opening attachments or clicking links, if you’ve received in that mail.
- Watch out if they’re asking for any sensitive information such as password or payment credential because legit organization never asks such things through email.
- If you’re purchasing anything online, double-check from whom you’re doing so, as selling of fake Coronavirus related products is on the rise.
- If you’re about to donate to charity or organization that claims to raise funds for helping people, its best, you research about it before doing so.
- Don’t trust someone blindly online who claims to offer vaccinations or home test kits. Instead, contact the trusted doctor, if you have any issues.
- If you’re visiting any website regarding this pandemic COVID-19, check if there’s any typographical error in the domain name, as there are many websites on large that look legit, but it’s fake.
- Don’t share the news with others on social media platforms or messaging apps till you verify and make sure that it’s accurate and not any hoax.